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Prepping your Pet for Holiday Travel

Prepping your Pet for Holiday Travel

Are you planning on bringing your dog along on your holiday travels? Here’s some advice to make sure you and your pet have a great time while on the go!

Crate training

Whether you’ll need to crate your dog for airline travel or have a safe place to contain your dog while you’re on the road, it’s a good idea to make sure your dog is comfortable in their collapsible travel crate. Plus, providing a portable, cozy space for your dog will reassure them wherever they go, and allow you to confine them when you need to leave them in unfamiliar surroundings.

Familiar bedding

Pack your dog’s favorite bed or blanket, so they will have a familiar spot to hang out when you reach your destination. Wash the bedding a couple of days in advance of your departure so it will absorb the familiar scent of home while still being clean.

Don’t forget the enrichment toys! 

Your dog might revert to anxious behavior while away from home. If you bring along their favourite enrichment toys, including durable chew toys, you’ll avoid the embarrassment and expense of your pooch damaging hotel property or your host’s belongings, while lessening your pet’s anxiety.

Pack plenty of familiar food

Don’t count on finding your dog’s favorite brand of kibble in your destination city, especially if your dog is on a special diet. Be sure to pack extra dry or canned dog food familiar to your pet.

Sudden changes in your dog’s diet, especially when they’re in new surroundings, can cause indigestion, gas, and diarrhoea… not something you want to contend with anytime, much less when you’re staying with family or friends.

Update vaccinations & health records

Is your dog current on her vaccinations? It’s a good idea to update her shots in advance of holiday travel to be sure your pet doesn’t experience adverse reactions in the days following. Also, most airlines, groomers and even some states require a current veterinary health certificate for new or visiting pets. 

Ask your veterinarian to provide a copy of your dog’s updated health records in case you need Veterinary, Grooming or Pet Sitting services along your route or at your destination. You might want to ask your vet to provide you with motion sickness medication, or a mild sedative for your trip.

Update ID tags and microchip subscriptions

Is your dog microchipped? Most vets can set you and your dog up with a microchip and registry subscription at your next visit, giving you peace of mind wherever you are if your dog gets lost or loses his collar.

You’ll also want to make sure your dog’s collar tags have your current mobile phone number. Your pet is at increased risk of becoming lost when in unfamiliar territory, especially if the stress of travel and holiday festivities triggers the “flight” response.

Build a reference list of After hours Vets, Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers in your destination city

Planning can save your pet’s life. Find out where to go for after-hours veterinary emergencies in your destination city before you leave, when you have time to put out feelers among locals for recommended Vet clinics, Pet Sitters, Doggy Day Carers, Dog Walkers, dog parks, Groomers, and pet shops.


When dogs get excited or nervous, they tend to shed. Treat your dog to a trip to the groomer before your trip, and be sure to have its nails trimmed, too. Pack your pet’s home grooming kit, including pet wipes, to reduce shedding in your hotel room or host’s home.

More tips for dogs on the go

There are plenty of other things to keep in mind when hitting the road (or the skies) with your dog. 

•   Be sure your dog gets a lot of exercise while you’re traveling. As with humans, exercise helps alleviate anxiety, and pets who have had some long walks, playdates, or plenty of time playing fetch will be less likely to misbehave in their holiday environment.

•   Be alert for signs of overstimulation! Large gatherings, loud music, airports and other pets can cause your dog to act out. If your dog seems easily irritated, let her retreat to her crate or bed in a quiet corner with minimal disturbance.

•   Try to maintain a routine for your dog. If the animal is used to walks and meals at certain times of the day, do your best to keep up with his schedule. 

•   We all like to overindulge during the holidays, but remember that people food isn’t always healthy for our dogs. For your pet’s sake, remind others not to spoil your pooch with treats. 

Pets are part of the family, so for many of people, it’s essential to be able to bring them along when visiting friends and family over the holidays. With advance preparation, dogs can become gracious guests and well-adjusted participants in the festivities!

PetCloud is Australia’s most trusted national Pet Care Service network with 5 star reviews and thousands of Pet Carers ready to care for your pet in loving homes. Corporate supporter of RSPCA.

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